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Music composition, any parents out there?

(7 Posts)
jaws5 Tue 15-Nov-16 11:29:12

My DD, 14, want has started writing some beautiful piano pieces
and wants to be a composer for films, tv, etc. She is working on her G8 piano and plays other instruments too. I just let her get on with it and encourage her. What else, if anything, could I do at this stage. She will be taking GCSE Music, and I know there is a composition element, so will do some of that at school...

drummersmum Tue 15-Nov-16 16:54:16

That's great. Make sure she has any software she needs to be able to publish the pieces such as Sibelius and a MIDI keyboard to go with it. That's what she probably has at school. She should listen to lots of different music to broaden her references and it's really easy to look at films and see where the cues start and how the main themes are used.

Ferguson Tue 15-Nov-16 21:03:35

Does she play these 'other instruments' in ensembles or groups, either at school, or outside? The more practise she gets playing with other people the better. If she has a few friends who play different instruments she could try improvising with them, or writing scores for them.

She will need to know how to transpose for different instruments (Bflat, Eflat, etc) and understand the 'harmonic series'. These days there is a vast amount of information 'on line'.

And this site has lots of information:

This American company produce a lot of MIDI equipment, and at surprisingly reasonable prices (though I don't know if that still applies with Brexit, Trump, and other uncertainties in the modern world!):

If she is doing other subjects, besides Music, then Physics, Electronics, Computers are all relevant for recording and studio work.

jaws5 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:01:35

Fantastic info, thanks Drummersmum and Ferguson! Brexit, Trump, and other uncertainties in the modern world! I know, I have also been thinking of this in the context of my children's future an education, as potentially many doors will be closed to them that are open now and we take for granted. The music business needs FoM! So depressing!

Trumpetboysmum Fri 18-Nov-16 21:09:48

Muse score is a great free download that works in a similar way to Sibelius though I don't know if they are compatible with each other

hertsandessex Wed 21-Dec-16 09:10:25

Logic Pro seems to be the other main piece of software (my kids use for GCSE composition). I think it is quite different from Sibelius as doesn't rely on music notation and has a wider range of instruments and effects.

INeedNewShoes Wed 21-Dec-16 09:18:00

A really fab book for composing is Adler's 'study of orchestration'. I used it for orchestration at uni but use it now as I'm a music arranger. It doesn't tell you how to compose but is a guide to all the instruments, their range, what they're capable of and how best to make use of each instrument's best features. Invaluable for writing orchestral music.

I'd get her set up at home with software like Sibelius and Logic (these programmes have quite different functions) so that she can start playing around with ideas with some freedom.

My experience of GCSE music is that the composition element is useful as a starting point but a bit of a box ticking exercise really so she'll have more fun being creative outside of the bounds of the GCSE curriculum.

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